Everyone will expect to protect their privacy while using social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. It is a common expectation that people’s right to speech and religion are respected while they use social media outlets.
In America, no one needs to provide their confidential information like passwords as a condition of employment.
Social media is predominantly used to share personal communications. While getting their employees’ social media passwords, the employers can assume the identity of their employees and get access to monitor as well as manipulate their personal opinions and activities. Therefore increasing numbers of employees grow concerned about practices where the organizations or bosses ask for the SM passwords of their employees.
While there are opinions both for and against the rights to employers to ask for the social media passwords of their employees, the legislative measures in these lines will make the issue clearer.
More Cyber Security through Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) or not?
As most people are aware, the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, also called as CISPA. The bill is an effort to help the government effectively respond to cyber security threats by enabling easy exchange of information between itself and private companies. Those opposing CISPA argue that the bill is an invasion of privacy and will support spying on the American public by protecting companies that give up private user info from persecuted or being sued.
Though CISPA secured a whole saw bipartisan support, the last-minute amendment that aimed at curtailing the highly bothering practice by employers was shot down. Colorado Democrat Ed Perlmutter attempted to include a provision in CISPA that will render it illegal for employers to demand their employees to disclose their social media passwords as a prerequisite condition to secure or continue in a job. The proposal was down by 224-189 votes with the Republicans in the majority.
Notably, Perlmutter introduced this kind of legislation earlier also. During last year, the House rejected the same employee password protection language. The practice of employers asking for the Facebook passwords of their prospective employees was discussed hotly during last year. Both the federal and the state governments resorted to some legal measures to counteract this trend. While the Password Protection Act of 2012 was introduced both in the House and the Senate, it could not pass. Following this, yet another motion called “Mind Your Own Business on Passwords” failed in Congress.
When the Password Protection Act of 2012 moved forward, it made it a crime for any employer “for the purposes of employing, promoting, or terminating employment, compels or coerces any person to authorize access, such as by providing a password or similar information through which a computer may be accessed.” But it dies and was referred back to the committee. There had been several similar bills in these lines but none of them successfully passed. There is still some time before we can see this as a rule in labor law posters.
On the other hand, some states have been able to legally ban this practice with the state of Maryland giving the lead by banning password snooping. During this year, California and Illinois followed the trend. Earlier experiences prove that password protection legislation was successful only in the state level. Following Maryland, six other states legally banned employers seeking the employees’ passwords. During 2013 sessions, around 60 bills of this kind have been proposed by lawmakers of more than 30 states. It all appears that the proposals have spread very fast all around in the nation.
References and more info here: U.S. employees set to be forced to give bosses their Facebook PASSWORDS
What are your thoughts on this topic?